Meet One of Our Partners, Neil O'Sullivan

Nimbus Co's co-founder Neil on all things saunas

January 08, 2020

   •   

4 min read

Sebastian

Let's start from the beginning, tell us about the foundation of Nimbus Co?

Essentially, my wife Su and I started Nimbus as a side hustle. We'd been together for 7 years and the first ideation on Nimbus came to us around January 2016. Su was working in a health clinic which offered infra-red saunas mostly as a recovery tool. Sue and I are both entrepreneurial so naturally, the brain wave came for us to start Nimbus Co. Nimbus Co was founded under the idea that prevention is better than the cure. When you look after yourself and do it on a regular basis, it will benefit you in the long run, and we've always thought about saunas as a tool for long term health.

There are great studies about the benefits of infrared sauna technology. We loved the idea that we could create something that is altruistic in nature and give back to the community. It was a no brainer really. We thought if we could give back while helping people to be fit and healthy through infrared saunas, and develop a lifestyle brand that disrupted the health industry at the same time, that we'd be onto something. We were also conscious that infrared sauna alone is not necessarily the thing to change your world but can be used as a catalyst to welcoming your own wellness, which is our tagline. It's about finding balance within each individual.

When we first opened up the Bondi store, we knew it was a great location. Bondi is a progressive area and quite contemporary so people grasped the concept super easily. Locals there know about holistic health and are conscious of their health and wellbeing, and now a lot of them know about us, which is great. But we are always thinking about the larger population, there's still a long way to go to really educate the masses on the benefits of infrared saunas, and each bit counts.

So what made you transition to collaborate with Clearlight saunas and use our product?

We knew Clearlight Saunas are one of the top-performing machines in the market, especially with the technology, safety and security. We were previously using another sauna brand that had a lot of issues. When Su met co-founder Sebastian in Byron Bay, she felt there was a great synergy between our organisations. The saunas themselves have the full spectrum. The machines are well put together, they come with good protection from EMF (Electromagnetic Fields) and tick all the boxes. The reliability of the machines has been really great and the Clearlight team are incredibly helpful. We went to Splendour in the Grass for a promotion, and we also did a pop up at the Paramount Hotel in Sydney, and the Clearlight team are always supportive, especially as we grow, really we're still a young business in many regards. I feel like we are aligned in our brand values and what we stand for, and since making the move it's been a really good fit for us.

In your opinion, what is the best way to experience a sauna session?

That really depends, there's a wide spectrum of how people use saunas. For me, I play a lot of sports during the week, so Sunday evenings are usually my time to relax and are a good way for me to incorporate a recovery session that prepares me for Monday. What I've noticed is that Nimbus is very popular on the weekends and after work, as people usually have the time then, especially those in corporate jobs.

We see that most people are using saunas one of two ways – for either their physical health or their mental health. The physical users have a goal in mind, they might be shredding, or are models looking to clear their skin. Obviously, these are some of the physical benefits of using saunas. Then there's the mental and emotional side of using the sauna – getting that hour away from the hustle of everyday life is a huge thing that we didn't foresee when we opened the doors, but we now realise is invaluable. If you think about it, there aren't that many experiences on the planet that give you that feeling. Yeah, you can go to the gym, you can go to Pilates, you can go to the cinema, but you're constantly distracted. Whereas when you are in a private sauna it's up to you, you can build your own experience – you can turn the lights off, you can put a meditation on, you can listen to Spotify, or you can watch Netflix. The experience is completely determined by you.

We often promote to people that the sauna is an opportunity to take time out and away from your everyday life. Why not dedicate forty-five minutes to just you and you alone. We know not everyone can be that extreme in shutting off and sometimes it's difficult for people because it's longer than a traditional sauna session, you're in there for forty-five minutes. So yes, while the physical benefits are awesome it's more about how to support people on a spiritual level. We're endeavouring to bring people back to ground in terms of who we are as humans, by taking a step back. That's the ultimate goal, then yes you get all the material and physical benefits on the other side.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

Yeah, I think a key aspect of Nimbus Co is the community spirit. Each store is like a hub for people to come and feel safe, connected, and to have a chat. It's amazing some of the stories we hear, how vulnerable people are when they come into our studios, we love it, it's fantastic. Each store has a different vibe, we have stores in Byron Bay, Melbourne and Bondi. Byron has a different vibe to Melbourne, even though they have the same look, feel, and fit-out. They all have their own unique personality and client base. In Melbourne, a lot of AFL players come to us, so naturally, it has a very sporty urban feel to it. Bondi is more beachy and transient, people breeze in and breeze out. And Byron is more the local hippie Byron vibe, they're into the spiritual side and take more time to enjoy the experience. I'm from Ireland, so someday I'd love to be able to open up a store there too!

To book a sauna session at Nimbus Co, head here: and for more information on our Clearlight sauna products, see here

  •    •    •  

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

Sacred Solitude in the Sauna